Post-Election Recap: 2018 Midterm Elections

midterm election

The Security Industry Association (SIA) is pleased to provide the following post-election analysis and discussion on how the 2018 midterm results may impact the security industry. Moreover, SIA analyzed both federal and statewide election results for potential impact on SIA’s policy priorities.


As of Nov. 27, the U.S. House and Senate composition for the 116th Congress will be as follows.

2018 House Results

  • 233 Democrats (+38 gain)
  • 200 Republicans (-38 loss)
  • 2 undecided (NY-22 and CA-21)

2018 Senate Results

  • 53 Republicans (+3 gain)
  • 47 Democrats (-3 loss)

116th Congressional Outlook for SIA

Most pundits associate divided government with gridlock and an unproductive Congress due to diverging political agendas; however, there are several opportunities for bipartisanship that could benefit SIA members.

Transportation and Infrastructure

During the 115th Congress, Republican legislators had balked at the prospect of pursuing a comprehensive infrastructure bill, which would expand procurement opportunities potentially benefiting members of the security industry; however, in the new Congress a grand infrastructure package is at least a possibility, since both Democrats and the Trump administration have publicly expressed a desire to increase infrastructure spending, which would necessarily include a significant public safety component if applied to schools, mass transit and other critical infrastructure beyond roadways.

Data Privacy

In light of events surrounding data breaches and the recent implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union, lawmakers from both parties have expressed interests in reforming data collection and cross-border flow practices through legislative action. Legislation could appear akin to GDPR, although a majority of industry stakeholders are expected to oppose provisions allowing government agencies to take a heavy-handed regulatory approach, imposing fines without due process or legal recourse, for example.

21st-Century Workforce

Traditionally, workforce development issues have enjoyed bipartisan support, which SIA expects to continue into the 116th Congress. The security industry is grappling with how to address emerging workforce challenges, such as a perceived skills gap and human capital shortage. Congress could help tackle this challenge through enactment of policies such as increasing the federal government’s investment and prioritization of STEM curriculum, incentivizing corporations to invest in the future workforce, fostering robust apprenticeship programs or expanding federal grant and student aid opportunities for students pursing degrees through vocational institutions.


Flipped Governorships in the 2018 Elections

There were 36 governor races on the ballot in total, with these seven states ousting their incumbents.

StatePre-election controlPost-Election control
New MexicoRepublicanDemocratic

Flipped Legislatures in the 2018 Elections

All 50 states had legislators on the ballot this November. These six states will see changes in the compositions of their legislatures.

StateChamberPre-election controlPost-Election control
New HampshireHouseRepublicansDemocratic
New HampshireSenateRepublicansDemocratic
New YorkSenateRepublicansDemocratic

State Government Trifectas

A state government trifecta is when the same political party controls the executive and legislative branches.

Trifecta StatusBeforeAfterNet
Democratic trifecta814+6
Republican trifecta2622-4
Divided government1613-3

Of the 36 states that currently have state government trifectas, these 11 states flipped from divided governments to trifecta status, or vice versa.

StatePre-election statusPost-election status
AlaskaDivided GovernmentRepublican trifecta
ColoradoDivided GovernmentDemocratic trifecta
IllinoisDivided GovernmentDemocratic trifecta
KansasRepublican trifectaDivided government
MaineDivided government Democratic trifecta
MichiganRepublican trifectaDivided government
NevadaDivided governmentDemocratic trifecta
New HampshireRepublican trifectaDivided government
New Mexico Divided governmentDemocratic trifecta
New YorkDivided government Democratic trifecta
WisconsinRepublican trifecta Divided government

Partisan Balance of Power in State Legislative Chambers

Partisan Control of All 99 State Legislatures
Legislative ChamberDemocraticRepublican DemocraticRepublican
State Senate143618 (+4)32 (-4)
State House183119 (+1)30 (-1)


326737 (+5)62 (-5)

Biggest Takeaways From the State Legislative Gubernatorial Elections

Colorado's Senate Flips From Republican to Democrat

Democrats took control of the state’s senate and held onto the state’s house of representatives, and with Democrat Jared Polis in office, it will become one of 14 states entirely controlled by the Democratic Party. Republicans have the trifecta of power in 22 states.

Connecticut's Senate Sees Democrats Take Control After Split

Before the election, Connecticut's state senate was evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. Democrats managed to win the majority in the state senate and picked up seats in the house of representatives, where it already had a majority. Connecticut’s governor’s race also went for the Democrats, with Ned Lamont defeating Bob Stefanowski in a very close race.

Minnesota's House Changes to Democrats

Minnesota's state house went to the Democrats on Tuesday, with the party gaining some 18 seats in the chamber. Its senate, however, stayed with Republicans.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Minnesota is the only state in the U.S. where the legislature is divided.

Maine's Senate Flips, and a Democratic Governor Wins to Give the Party Full Control

Democrats managed to take over Maine’s senate on Tuesday. They also kept control of the state’s house, and Democratic attorney general Janet Mills won the governorship. She will take over for Republican Gov. Paul LePage. Mills will most likely enact several new policy changes with Democrats in charge of both legislative chambers.

New Hampshire: Democrats Retake Both Legislative Chambers

The Democrats appear to have retaken both chambers of the state legislature for the first time in almost a decade. But the state won’t be under unified democratic control, as Republican Gov. Chris Sununu won his reelection bid.